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          Friday, March 31, 2000

Dromed 2 Tidbits
- 3:52:23 PM - Totality
Well, the TEG forum is starting to errupt with thief 2 posts. With the release of Thief 2 in Europe hopefully everyone should have a copy either now or soon, but those lucky people who have had it for the last week have already started to explore the level editor, so don't follow these links if you want no risk of spoilers.

The two most important things that I can see is this temporary soloution to importing Thief missions into Thief 2 by Redearth. It allows you to have your thief object and to access the ones in thief 2. The other exciting thing is the advent of 'Quest Var Trigger' explained here by Hamish. It allows you to trigger actions depending upon the state of a quest variable, and this should allow some lovely dromed trickery.

There are probably some more fun features that have been found, but as I haven't completed the game myself yet I haven't had a chance to explore all of them, but from looking at the game and briefly glancing at dromed I have a feeling that we shall soon get some excellent Thief 2 FMs.





          Thursday, March 30, 2000

French Website Features Thief 1 Maps
- 8:14:10 PM - Dan
Remember that French Thief site I mentioned? Well they sites owners have emailed me telling me of a portion of the site which would appeal to anyone. Philippe Cottet, one of the site's owners, has made a collection of maps. Check them out!

The Sword A; The Sword B; The Sword C
Bradford mansion
The Bonehoard
Assassins
Thieves Guild





Walkthrough for Ranstall Keep
- 3:51:37 PM - Nightfall
Jyre has written a walkthrough for her recently released and highly loved fan mission Ranstall Keep. The walkthrough may be found here.




A Keeper Thesis: History of the Hammerites
- 1:35:50 PM - Nightfall
If you enjoyed reading Sneaksie Thiefsie's Life in the City and History of the City then you're in luck. Today I've updated the guide's section with his third thesis, History of the Hammerites. Thanks again, Sneaksie, and I hope this won't be your last. :)





          Wednesday, March 29, 2000

Gone Gold Does History of Looking Glass
- 12:14:19 AM - Dan
Here's something you don't see every day! Joel Mathis of Gone Gold has written a short History of Looking Glass which describes in some detail the beginning years of Looking Glass Studios.
The story of Looking Glass actually starts in 1983 when Paul Neurath formed Gryphon Software with Ned Lerner. It was the heyday of the small developers and Gryphon Software developed such titles as Deep Space (one of the first games to use solid polygonal graphics, and on an Apple 2 no less) and Space Rogue. It was through Space Rogue that the relationship with Origin began which would many years later come to fruition. Ned Lerner formed Lerner Research and the two companies worked together on titles like Chuck Yeager Flight Trainer and F22 Interceptor (a flight simulator for the Sega Genesis).
Nice stuff, eh? A few quick fixes though: Looking Glass was indeed still called Blue Sky Productions when Ultima Underworld 1 came out, and he forgot to mention that Wolf3D.... sucked hairy donky nuts (IMHO :).





          Tuesday, March 28, 2000

GameSpot's Top Ten Monsters
- 10:52:59 PM - James
I'm not sure if this is actually recycled - but it's cool enough to recycle. 8) GameSpot has up its listing of Reader's Choice of Top Ten Scariest Monsters. And - "by a landslide" - the Haunt has won! Very cool!!





          Monday, March 27, 2000

Dromed 2 Colour Problem Fix
- 5:22:49 PM - Totality
Thanks to the intervention of EvilSpirit, we now know the fix for the textures loading incorrectly in Dromed 2.

Add the command 'edit_screen_depth 16' to the dromed.cfg file and it will display the textures correctly.

Other dromed news, Pseduonymouse has written a demo mission which demonstrates object rotation around any point, and John JohnEric wants to reserve the FM name Stronghold.

To end with, please continue to mark thief 2 orientated posts in the Editors forum, and don't forget to play the recent FMs! The Final Crusade especially had been blessed with good comments by fellow editors.





          Sunday, March 26, 2000

Admin Email Down
- 4:03:35 PM - Saam
Hey all, just wanted to let everyone know that our shock@icode.com (or admin@ttlg.com) email address are not working for the time being. As a workaround, just send your emails to either saam@icode.com (Me) and/or detodd@rwtodd.com (Dan). Thanks!





          Friday, March 24, 2000

Ranstall Keep in Colour
- 7:15:33 PM - Jyre
I've made a little fix for Ranstall Keep so you can play it in colour if you wish. There are two reasons for this. Firstly some people just don't like the B&W but I still want them to enjoy the mis. More importanat, however, is the fact that some graphics cards might not show the B&W to well. So here's the fix, ripped straight from the TEG forum:

Okay, so people don't have to go trawling through what is getting to be a long thread, here are the three steps you need to get Ranstall back into colour

1) Delete "obj" folder

2) Delete "fam" folder

3) Delete "mesh" folder and put the contents of this zip (80kb) into your Thief directory

Everything but the Demon's will now be in full colour

Enjoy!




'The Final Crusade I', 'Tuttocomb's Tomb' & 'Whack-A-Rat'
- 5:23:17 PM - Dan
Need something to tide you over until you get a chance to buy Thief 2? Want some more fan missions? Can't hurt, eh? :)

I have two fan missions for release, and both look quite nice at first glance. Here they are, for your taffing pleasure:


The Final Crusade I
  readme.txt
  (3.2 Meg)
  Released: 3-24-2K

  No Walkthrough
By Brother McEla (Mไkelไ):
Two nights ago when I ordered my fifth pint of ale over at the local pub, the door slammed open and this clearly drunken fellow came in and sat next to me. I was about to seat myself at another table when he turned and presented himself; "-Walken", he said, "Terrence Walken", he added. I didn't want to seem rude so I chatted with him for a while. He told me he owned his own plumbing company and about the problems of installing sewerpipes big enough to hold a man into solid rock. I told him I was in the carpenting business and asked where he had worked recently. It turns out he'd been doing some renovating over at Lord Baffords TwelveThorne estate. Bafford uses it to house important associates and other such people. He has more or less sold his old manor and is moving out of it. I wonder why.. (more in readme)


Tuttocomb's Tomb
  readme.txt
  (7 Meg)
  Released: 3-24-2K

  No Walkthrough
By Asymuth & Red Rogue:
This entire pilgrimage occuring sometime after Garrett's escapade, you seek the twin cousin of the Horn of Quintus in the depths of ancient, decaying temple. You lost your blackjack during your journey to this temple (this journey possibly will make its way into the hands of thieves very soon...)but are resolved nonetheless to persist in your venture. You are stuck in unfamiliar gloomy areas; fortunately, riches are in abundance, so profit can be made.

And finally I also have a 'mission' which definetly leans into the 'fun stuff' area of the Demos and Fun Stuff category.


Whack-A-Rat
  readme.txt
  (658 K)
  Use ThiefLoader

By Jarrod Lewis (TTGuard):
You were deposited at the front gate of a small mansion. Your only way out is to find and grab the Golden Skull placed some where in the level, but first you want to do a little investigating. This place has three main rooms, conveniently they are numbered in order of visitation, read the gold plaques before you go in and do as they ask. The final room, room 3, is the whole purpose of this place. Enjoy, oh, I almost forgot to mention there is a secret fourth room, it's the one with the Gold Skull, you can't get out without it. It might be worth your while to get out, Right? Then again maybe not.

Congratulations to you all on completeing your missions.




The Dromed Transition
- 3:01:34 PM - Totality
For those who don't know, Thief 2 contains a new version of DromED. This will allow us level editors to continue to construct FMs. Of course, plenty of editors out there are still constructing Thief 1 levels, and despite the release of T2 I implore you not to ditch your level. Thief 1 Fan Missions will still be played and enjoyed.

There IS the possibility of being able to import levels into the sequal. The full details are not known yet, the main problem being the changes in the object hierachy between the two versions. At worst you will be able to import architecture, hopefully with textures. At best the whole level will be transferred across, but we will have to wait for Tels to work his magic for this one.

To those who are new to the world of dromed I extend an invitation to the Editor's Forum, where you can discuss ideas and problems. I would also like to remind those new to our world that not all the editors have Thief 2 yet, and those that do may not want to know about specific details until they have completed the game. Please use your discretion, and if you are unsure indicate that your post/query relates to 'Thief 2 DromED', and this might also help us with your query. As time goes on there will be less need for this. Also, as a general tip, I would advise newcomers to read the forum back log. Questions have a habit of repeating themselves, so your query may have already been answered. We hope to expand the support for learning dromed.

Referring to DromED in general, a number of projects are currently in the air. Zail is constructing an explanation of the various Dromed Commands, but some commands still remain a mystery. If you happen to be a command guru, you can help out here. I am currently running a survey about dromeders and their habits. Thief Loader 2 is still being constructed, and it should be an improvement with less chance of corrupting the install. Xarax has made a HowTo on lava and Datoyminaytah has constructed a whole new zombie voice.

Keep it up. May Dromed 2 finally bring that gold hammer, though watch out for Calendra's Cistern!




French Thief Fansite
- 1:45:42 PM - Dan
http://thief.cli.fr/ is the one and only (as far as I know) totally French Thief fansite. It looks quite nice so far, and will hopefully grow. The site is owned and operated by one Laurent. Good luck with the site!





          Thursday, March 23, 2000

'Gerome' Reviewed - 5 Bronze Hammers
- 12:19:30 AM - Dan
Geoff and myself wrote up the review for Gerome, a fan mission by Caleb Callaway (Despot). Here's the summary:
Pros: Well thought out design, with guard chambers and "help" chambers in separate wings. Several possible entrances. Interesting and possilby new "button" for opening a secret door.

Cons: Too easy. Similar guard patrols throughout castle. Wasted polys.

The Bottom Line: A fun little mission to do if you have a spare 20 minutes. ...Well 20 minutes if you are the type that picks up every Vase you see.

All in all, the mission was awarded 5 bronze hammers. Thanks for the cool mission, Caleb! You may read the full review here.





          Wednesday, March 22, 2000

DeusEx-Machina.com Grand Opening!
- 11:32:33 PM - Saam
After a huge wait, we have finally opened up our Deus Ex site, DeusEx-Machina.com. To celebrate the opening, we have posted up an interview with Harvey "Witchboy" Smith, and will post up some screenshots later on this week, as well as a mini Q&A tomorrow with Harvey. So go and check it out, and let us know if you'd like anything changed/added!

Thanks!




'Ranstall Keep' - Fan Mission by Alex "Jyre" Thomson
- 10:54:17 PM - Dan
This mission actually made its official release weeks ago, but in my neglagence I fogot to do a news post about it. Sorry Alex. :) This is actually the first released fan mission that I helped create (I just gave her some ideas, so I can't take much credit... :) and I'm really glad she finally released it. It's a good mission, and I hope everyone likes it.


Ranstall Keep
  readme.txt
  (4.7 Meg)
  Released: 3-12-2K

  No Walkthrough
By Alex "Dashjianta" Thomson (Jyre):
The village of Ranjeya lies at the foot of Ranstall Keep which sits atop the Alskarl hill, overlooking The City. Both village and Keep have stood for centuries, with the residents of each existing in harmony with the other. A little over a year ago the Keep came under the rulership of one Lord Dalkstan, a foreigner and a recluse. Within a week of his arrival the Keep was shut off from the village. Doors that had stood open were locked and put under heavy guard, heavy patrols walked the once peaceful streets. Underlying it all was something far more sinister...







          Wednesday, March 15, 2000

Thief II Preview at GameSpy
- 9:45:37 PM - James
Shane McAllen strikes again! This time, the news is of a preview of Thief II at GameSpy. A very positive preview, albeit one aimed at people who have never heard of Thief. (Which is a good thing, if it brings more people into the fold and sells more copies of Thief II!)





          Tuesday, March 14, 2000

Please buy Thief 2 via TTLG & GameStop!com
- 9:00:34 AM - Dan
If you are looking to buy Thief 2 online, then please do it via Gamestop!com via TTLG. If you go to gamestop via the link above, or by clicking on the gamestop logo on the site's side menu, then TTLG will get a small ad revenue bonus for every sale. It would make me very happy. :)

Remember, this won't work if you just go to www.gamestop.com. You have to use this link: http://www.gamestop.com/?affid=8000&source=store&subid=ttlg or click on the Gamestop logo on the side menu. Thank you!





          Monday, March 13, 2000

Thief 2 Loot! Er, Gold!
- 7:50:18 PM - James
Gone Gold says that Thief II has been signed off for duplication as of about 17.00EST today! Shane McAllen is responsible for stealing this valuable loot.




More Thief II Screenshots
- 4:11:13 PM - James
The indefatigable Shane McAllen stole this link to a selection of new screenshots from the Thief II beta, over at 3D Action Planet.





          Saturday, March 11, 2000

What the Hell is Going on Here, Anyway?
- 10:27:38 PM - Dan
What's with the zero activity all week? What's with the boom of posts on the weekend? What's with all the unreplied emails? What's with that bogus poll? What the hell is going on here?!

Ehh.. stuff.

Next week is going to be a great deal like this one... with the exception that I doubt I'll be doing any updates next weekend. You see, I am playing one of the minor character roles in my college's production of Guys and Dolls. All this past week was dress rehearsals, and all of next week is "tech week", with Friday being opening night. Even though I have a relatively minor role (Lt Brannigan), I still have to spend most of the day, every day, in rehearsal. I am crossing my fingers and hoping that this will not interfere too much with my grabbing and playing Thief 2 as soon as it comes out.

Ah well.

G'night, taffers.




Thief Fansite from the Author of SkiFree
- 9:50:30 PM - Dan
The author od SkiFree and other quaint demo missions now has a website. You can check out Micah's Thief Site right here! Enjoy your stay...




Review of 'Fall of a Chook' by Andrew Dagilis
- 8:13:24 PM - Dan
We have yet another review today, again by Andrew Dagilis. This time the review is of Fall of a Chook, a fan mission made by Fred Chook. The bottom line is as follows:
  • Pros: It's small, downloads rapidly and is ThiefLoader-compatible. Uninstalls easily, too.
  • Cons: Many crash bugs; misaligned textures; too great a reliance on THIEF GOLD-native textures and animation scripts; Mapmaking 101-level architecture; pointless plot; featureless boxy rooms; some incompatible texture juxtapositions, giving the locale even more of a random, thrown-together feel; amateurish enemy placement (except perhaps for the spider on top of the high shelves).
  • Bottom line: The type of first effort young mapmaking neophytes create, 99% of whom stash it away on a diskette somewhere rather than releasing it to the sort of knowledgeable, sophisticated public who plays superior games like THIEF and SYSTEM SHOCK.
  • The mission was given 2 bronze hammers. The review may be read here.




    Review of 'Rogue's Honor' by Marecki
    - 7:38:57 PM - Dan
    Marecki has sent in a review of Totality's famed 'Rogue's Honor'. Marecki was not only impressed by the mission, but surprised by it, something which he thinks is very cool. In short:
    •  Pros: VERY original approach, interesting ways of getting some things done, encourages experimenting, many unexpected surprises.
    •  Cons: Hard puzzles, some minor technical quirks, very simple story.
    •  Bottom Line: Great gameplay, too simple story - though better than a great story with hopeless gameplay and definitely worth checking out, it's just very good instead of excellent.
    Marecki awarded the mission with 3.5 silver hammers. An honor indeed! Thanks, Totality, for a thiefy classic. The full review may be found here.




    Review of 'Hammerhead' by Banshee
    - 6:45:53 PM - Dan
    Banshee's second review is of Hammerhead, Gonchong aka James D Roberts creation. Once again the review is short and to the point. Bottom line is as follows:
    •  Pros: Good gameplay, nicely structured, no bugs I that I noticed.
    •  Cons: Plain architecture, sometimes practically forced to go to 'action mode'.
    •  Bottom Line: Good effort from Gonchong. Not much that we haven't seen before, but what's there is fun and has been well executed. If you're looking for some more of that regular thieving action that charmed us all when Thief came out, bow down your head under the Hammer.
    Read the whole review here. Banshee awarded Gonchong 3 silver hammers. Congrats, James, on a great mission!




    Review of 'Circle of Strain 3' by Banshee
    - 5:54:55 PM - Dan
    I have a short review of Circle of Strain 3 to post today, written by none other then Jussi Lehtinen, better known as Banshee. Here's the short of it:
    •  Pros: Pretty as a picture, nicely thought out, seemed free of design flaws.
    •  Cons: No cons worth mentioning
    •  Bottom Line: More masterful architecture from Mokkis, and for the most part, an enjoyable mission. In some parts, however, the gameplay is a bit unimaginative. To sum it up, a superior effort, and a mission well worth anyone's attention.
    Banshee awarded Cos3 with 4 silver hammers, a fitting score, if I don't say so myself. Congrats, Mokkis, on another Thief 1 fan mission classic. I look forward to all those Thief 2 fan missions I'm sure you'll come up with... :)




    Re-review of Lord Binclair by Andrew Dagilis
    - 3:57:19 PM - Dan
    We've got a second opinion review of the very popular fan mission Lord Binclair. Here's the review in brief:
    Comments by Andrew Dagilis:
    •  Pros: Solidly well thought-out interiors and exteriors, custom textures and sounds, no contrived "gotcha!" traps.
    •  Cons: Some technical/programming slip-ups, some featureless rooms (admittedly, in buildings you don't have to visit), random stitched-together plotline with several slapped-on, unmotivated objectives.
    •  Bottom Line: The designer obviously took great pains in creating his Austro-Swisslike town and all aspects thereof. Sadly, his architectural achievement is undermined by slipshod plotting and merely average scripting. Such a well designed setting deserves plot underpinnings of equal quality; unfortunately, the plotting feels a bit hodgepodgey, as if it's being made up as you go along.
    Thanks for the input, Andrew! The entire thing may be read here.




    Walkthrough of Hammerhead, by Gonchong
    - 3:36:30 PM - Dan
    Gonchong has done us all a favor and written up a complete walkthrough for his highly praised mission Hammerhead. Thanks Gonchong!




    The Long Lost Schema Files
    - 3:31:58 PM - Dan
    Hey Dromedites, scope this out:
    schemas_update.zip

    What is this?

    SPEECH.SPC and ENVSOUND.SPC are two schema files that were not included in SCHEMAS.ZIP on the Thief Gold CD.

    Unzip SCHEMAS.ZIP to a folder called "schema" under Thief, and add these two files. (The folder is unimportant if you only want to browse them for info, but it is important for running DromEd commands that access these files.)

    There is currently no documentation for these files (or the ones in SCHEMAS.ZIP for that matter) but here's what I know:

    When you run the DromEd command "reload_schemas", DromEd processes schema files in this order.

    schemas\*.spc
    schemas\*.arc
    schemas\*.sch

    These are all the same format, but the different extensions indicates what order they should be loaded. In other words, stuff in *.sch (schemas) depends on stuff defined in *.arc (archetypes) which may depend on stuff in *.spc (speech? just guessing.)

    Without these two files "reload_schemas" crashes DromEd with an error about a non-existent voice.

    Thanks to Tim Stellmach (EvilSpirit) of LGS for providing these files.

    Thanks to Datoyminaytah for getting them from him for us!





              Thursday, March 09, 2000

    Additions to The Circle - 'A Keeper's Thesis'
    - 5:54:11 PM - Dan
    Greetings, Taffers. The renovated Guides & Lore wing of The Circle is finally complete. You will find much the same, with the exception of two very cool additions:

    A while back Sneaksie Thiefsie put forth a tremendous effort and wrote a pair of documents, each of which he called "A Keeper Thesis." These were written using information gathered from the game, some guesswork, a bit of imagination, and a great deal of help from the Novice Keeper's Lexicon. Though they are very well done, and I highly suggest you read them, you must make note that they are totally unofficial, and have not been authorized or verified by Looking Glass in any way. That being said, don't be upset if Thief 2 presents information contrary to these documents. And, of course, many of the fanworks may present their own views of the Thief universe which sharply disagree with Sneaksie's renderings.

    So grab a mug of 'shroom tea, close the door, and check out History of The City and Life in The City.





              Wednesday, March 08, 2000

    Thief II Preview at Adrenaline Vault
    - 9:34:57 AM - James
    Adrenaline Vault has posted up a Preview of Thief II, with extras being 21 screenshots and an interview with Emil Pagliarulo. Hey - didn't he work at AVault a while back? 8)





              Sunday, March 05, 2000

    Thief 2: In US Stores on March 21?
    - 4:14:49 PM - James
    Special Agent McAllen noticed this tidbit on GoldGold.com. Thief II is on the verge of going gold and shipping! Why GoneGold chose to link to Sierra for Thief is less clear....





              Thursday, March 02, 2000

    Calendra's Cistern Preview Pics & Movie
    - 11:54:16 AM - Dan
    G'mornin, Taffers. It looks like the team working on Calendra's Cistern is wanting people to get quite excited about their mission, and rightfully so. It looks very slick. You can check out a pile or preview pics from it's official site at http://users.sisna.com/ahuso/thief.html , and also download the intro/briefing movie. (Note: The briefing does indeed use hired professional voice talent.)






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